Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bad Habits? Alzheimers? What the heck???

I've been stressed out the last week or so. With Christmas comes a lot of details for the lady of the house. Buying presents, wrapping presents, decorating, baking... Then there's just the normal stuff of life. Dishes, laundry (much less with Norah on Prevacid:)), diaper changing, potty training, cooking, cleaning, etc. Then there's work - MCF work that I do with the kids around. Mailings, labels, postage, phone calls, records, etc.

When my brain is full of all this stuff, sometimes it leaves out important stuff. Like don't leave your camera in the bottom of a Walmart bag. The screen might break. Or, while you're packing kids' stuff + Christmas presents, don't forget daily pills you take. So on top of taking care of daily stuff, then I have to make time to fix the things I've broke/forgotten/find things I misplaced.

I seriously have to stop sometimes and talk to myself about which details matter. The Alzheimer's comment isn't a joke either. My grandma is suffering from it badly right now and I think it's an awful disease.

Anyway, just some thoughts...

Norah the Scavenger

Norah's getting around quite well these days, and I fully expect to see her taking her first steps in the next month or so. She might make more progress if her brother would stop tackling her from behind when she's standing up by herself. Sometimes she takes it well. Sometimes she doesn't. Either way, she's definitely to the point of mobility where we can't leave drinks sitting around without them getting knocked over, can't leave snacks on the coffee table, etc.
She's found rolls and other food & drink that Luke leaves around, but I bet her favorite was the cookie she picked up at Kristin's while the kids paid attention to the tv and the adults to Settlers of Catan. I can't remember who found her, but whoever it was found a happy Norah with chocolate on her face. That's my girl:)

Norah Lou Who

I put pigtails in Norah's hair when I dressed her for Halloween as Boo from Monsters Inc. Around the same time Kristin put pigtails in Cate's hair and it looked so cute! I couldn't wait til Norah's hair was long enough to do pigtails more often. Then I realized it looks plenty cute right now in pigtails. A few people have said she looks like Cindy Lou Who with her hair sticking up like that. I think it's endearing;)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Date I'd Always Wanted

That may sound cheesy but it's true. At the top of my wish list has been to see Harry Connick Jr in concert at Christmastime. When Eric nonchalantly said Krystal had a ticket to go, I begged Pup to get to the nearest computer and order us tickets. He did, and since Oct. 11, I'd been looking forward to that weekend. We used a discount from Holly's sister and got a super cheap and very lovely Marriott room. And Mom and Nic watched the kids for us, so we had the weekend to ourselves in St. Louis.

I thought my desire to see Harry would be quenched after this weekend but really, I just want to go back, sit closer, and see that handsome smile.

In 10 years...

I don't know how many times a day I think to myself, "In ten years I will miss this." Like today, Luke woke up and was talking about the boo boo on his finger (a very small boo boo if I do say so). So I kissed it for him and he said with much sincerity "All better." Or the other day he said, "Mommy play cars me?" You can't imagine the sweet inflection that goes with it and it's impossible to pass up. In 10 years I'll be wishing I could kiss his boo-boos and be the one he asks to play with.


My kids have been in a hat phase lately. Mostly Luke. But Norah doesn't usually mind. He's pretty creative about it.

Here are the construction hats. Very useful for crashing.

This baseball box made 2 hats!

Neither of them were too willing to wear hats for this photo shoot:)

Norah looked good in her Steak n Shake hat.

A Bonus!

Last week my boss Mike planned a little Christmas party with some Board members, me and my kids, and Bridget who cleans the campus house. He said we were going to have some desserts and just celebrate the holiday season. Sounded fun to me. I'm always up for sweets.

That Monday arrived and Luke was sick. So I called Mike and told him I couldn't come. He called me back later and asked if he could come by. So he brought me a plate of yummy Pampered Chef brownies and a card - with a big check inside for a Christmas bonus!

There are about a hundred things we could use this bonus check on. Mostly house things. Yesterday I wanted to treat myself to a better double stroller. I'm looking into that. Earlier today I was thinking about a new camera (since I broke my 2nd one in 6 mos. Yikes!!!). Presently, I'm remembering how much I want to carpet the cement back stairs to our bedroom b/c I just fell up them and my knees are killing me. I think the carpet's going to win out for sure. Hopefully I can treat myself to something else too.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Yaya's Island

Kristin had mentioned to me that there was a cool new play place in Paducah called Yaya's Island. We planned to take the kids sometime this winter when we were going stir crazy. Kristin ended up going first with another friend and came back with good reviews. So when Denise and Logan wanted to go, we went on the day before Thanksgiving. Pierson, Sarah, and Mike joined us too.

The kids liked the birds and tropical fish in the huge aquariums. I thought Luke might have a bird issue after the zoo, but he didn't:) The kids had a blast playing on the inflatables, climbing on the slides and in the Jeep, "cooking" in the play huts, and playing arcade games.

Denise took Luke to look around while I took care of Norah and when I found them, they were in the gift shop area playing with cars. My boy is obsessed!


My favorite part of the Christmas season is the anticipation of it all. I love Christmas music, decorating the house for Christmas, thinking about what I'm going to get people for Christmas, wearing Christmas shirts (not teachery ones though), baking treats, visiting Santa, shopping for gifts, giving people the gifts I picked out especially for them, and waiting for snow. With Luke being sick we haven't gotten the tree up yet and it's kind of driving me crazy:)

I've got quite a collection of decor about Joy. A lot of that happened the year I was pregnant with Luke and was so excited about that gift. My favorite decoration is the set of JOY stocking holders Pup bought me. This year we added a cute snowflake to it for Norah. (I didn't want to move on to NOEL b/c we are four now.)

I can't imagine the anticipation felt in the heavens 2008 years ago at this time. I read a book called A Cosmic Christmas one year. It described the first Christmas when God brought to pass his plan for Mary to have Jesus. How much anticipation there was as prophecy turned into truth. It also described the warfare that came with it, and how the enemy hated seeing God true to His word.

In some situations, anticipation is the worst part. Like going to the dentist or having a confrontation with someone. But in this case, anticipation is one of the best parts for me.

Nervous Wreck

Luke has been sick all week. Sunday morning he got sick at Mom and Dad's house, then he's been throwing up every day since. He can't keep any real food down. I think taking care of a throwing up sick kid is the real initiation into parenthood. I realize I'm only 2.5 years into parenthood. I don't mind cleaning up the mess, changing his outfits, comforting him, disinfecting everything, doing laundry constantly, or even trying to explain why he can't have candy when he thinks he feels better. It's that it's so unpredictable. I have to wait around and see what happens. Maybe he'll be ok all day, maybe he won't. It makes me a nervous wreck.

Then, there's the fact that Pup and I have an awesome weekend planned that I'm praying either of us don't get sick for. Mom and Nic are watching the kids while we go to St. Louis for the weekend and see Harry Connick Jr in concert at the Fox Theatre. I can't wait!!! So I'm also nervous that something will happen and we won't be able to go this weekend.

We're on day 4 of being sick and that's a long time to keep a boy like Luke inside. Maybe things will get better today.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Come Back Here!

Not much explanation needed here. Norah was playing with Luke in his "Farmer Jed barn" (a barn made of foam tiles) and decided that Superman nearby looked more appealing. Apparently Luke wanted her to stay and play with him so he grabbed her by the diaper. But she just kept crawling. It didn't bother her one bit to have her buns hanging out for all the world to see:) Oh, and I forgot to mention the giggles that we heard from inside the barn as Norah tried to crawl away. Luke thought he was pretty funny.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Asleep Standing Up

On a day when I'm feeling exhausted by 10 am, leave it to Luke to crack me up. We finished lunch and he was watching Fievel Goes West. Naptime was approaching quickly and he asked for his Bunny and baa (paci). We went into his room to get them and had a short discussion about how he could watch his movie a "wittle wonger" (little longer), then he was going to take a nap.

I went back to the computer and he went back to Fievel. A few minutes later, I turned around to find him as he looks in this picture. Asleep! One leg hiked up on the couch. And he was gone. The funniest part is that he's fallen asleep this way once before!

Friday, November 7, 2008


I haven't had any updates on the potty training situation b/c I was giving it a month or so. Luke didn't seem ready and I wasn't able to figure out how to give this the attention it needed. Anyway, I stumbled across the toddler version of my favorite baby book author and knew she'd be able to give me the guidance I needed. And I realized this potty training business is a lot of training for parents too. After I read to take your kid to the potty about 15 min. after he's had something to drink, I thought I could get a handle on this.

So equipped with the potty, a sticker chart (yaaay for being a teacher!), and candy treats, we gave this another go. And Luke's earned 5 stickers for the week! Here are a couple stories.

The other night Bryan put Luke on the potty and then came to the kitchen to talk to me for a minute. We heard Luke say very excitedly, "Daddy! Come here!" and hoped he had done something in the potty. But no, he found a car in the magazine he wanted to show his daddy.

The next day I put him on the potty before suppertime and then went to the kitchen to do something. As I was piddling around, I heard Luke exclaim, "Chocolate!" I knew what he'd done. Sure enough, he had done something in his potty! Thank God he didn't think it looked tasty:)

So he got all his stickers this week and we went to the library and picked out some books and movies. Yaaay for free rewards;)

Oh well, maybe next time.

Halloween Redeemed

As you know I've been venting about my traumatic Halloween experiences. As soon as I declared that I'm 30 and don't ever have to do anything I don't want to do again on Halloween, I find myself willing to dress up. For my kids.
Luke really redeemed Halloween for me this year. I need to get over this humiliation I experienced in middle school, be thankful I
have genuine friends now, and enjoy this holiday with my kiddos.

We tried going to Trail of Treats on the 30th, but the line at the park was a couple blocks long and that wasn't worth it. Our friends Sarah and Pierson were with us and this was going to be Pierson's only trick-or-treating experience b/c they had weekend plans. So I called up a couple neighbors and we practice trick-or-treated at their houses. Watching the boys walk up the sidewalk to the porches of our neighbors was so cute. They really got the hang of this candy business.
We also had a blast at Kristin's non-costume party:) That really is the way to go!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Small World

No kidding, the hostess of the Halloween party in middle school that traumatized me just invited me to be her friend on facebook. I ignored the request. Is that immature or what???

Sunday, October 26, 2008


That is such a lame title, but maybe I'll be inspired as I write. Piggybacking on that last blog, I've been thinking about friends. How in the world did I fall for the costume fiasco that Halloween in middle school? Did I not have one loyal friend to give me a heads-up? That's what is really bugging me today. So I'm thinking back on the history of friends. Perhaps working backwards will help me think this through. Right now I am blessed with an abundance of friends in Murray. We have lots of things in common, like having kids, Settlers of Catan, scrapbooking, frisbee golf, and a love for the God that brought us together. That's a lot of common ground! Lately, we've even been blessed with new friends, which is very cool.

When I moved to Murray in 1998, I was a new Christian, and one of my prayers was that I would make some good friends. I wanted some solid friends in my life. Wow, did God answer that prayer! I guess he knows what a blessing friends are. So along came Brandon, Suzie, Jeff, Eric, Kristin, Cara, Kelly, Mike, Kent, Pup, Short, Sarah, the list goes on. And for the most part, I am still close to most of these friends. God created bonds that last.

That moves us back to high school. I don't think I had many good friends my freshman and sophomore years. Maybe a couple, but that's it. Things picked up my junior year though, and that was better. I met Aaron and we ended up dating for a long time. I had friends in chorus that remain to be friends today. The other friends I had were kind of fair-weather.
One exception is my neighbor Amber. We grew up together and had very different interests, but there was always that growing-up-together factor that kept us friends. She was strong and tough and could defend me (where in the world was she at the middle school Halloween party????).

This whole thing kind of depresses me a little. But it shouldn't. It took all this for me to pray the prayer that God continues to answer today for friends. Friends that I have the most important thing in common with. Friends like Kristin that are everyday friends that I can take a walk with, problem solve with, play games with, raise babies with, talk about real stuff with, cry with, and laugh with. Friends like Kim to go to the grocery with, scrapbook with, do house projects with, shop with, and eat hot dogs by the fire with. Friends like Aaron who've known me longer than most other people. Friends like Holly who are new, but feel old. Friends like my teacher friends who know my heart for kids but understand my heart for my kids. Friends like my sis who I've known my whole life and am just now truly appreciating as a best friend. Friends like Pup who've seen it all with me and still loves me. He's stuck around through sad times where all I could do was cry, tight times where it seemed like all we could do was fight, and amazing times where it was all worth it.

I guess all this makes us who we are. And for that I'm glad. One thing I know is that praying for good friends for my kids is not a waste of breath or a trivial matter. Good friends make life better.

Not Cracked up about Costumes

I don't hate Halloween because of religious reasons or anything. I just don't like dressing up. I've always kind of wanted to be enthusiastic about it, but it's just a lot of hassle to me. Thinking of something creative, trying to put it all together for cheap. Last year as I was contemplating why I hated the whole costume thing, I remembered something that happened in middle school. I called Mom to make sure I hadn't just dreamt it or made it up, and she assured me that I hadn't.

I was invited to a costume Halloween party in the neighborhood. Mom, being the handy soul that she is, made me a Snow White costume, and it was really cute. When I got to the party, I was the only one who had dressed up. I think I went home and changed. I don't really remember. I'm sure I cried being the sensitive one that I am. I can't remember if I went back. Either way, I was humiliated and still feel that way when I remember it! What a cruel thing to do.

That pretty much explains why I haven't been cracked up about costumes. When I taught 3rd grade and the teachers would want to dress up, I would take my costume to school and get dressed once I saw everyone else had dressed up. I wondered why I was so psycho about it. Now I know. So, now I'm 30 and I will not wear a costume unless I feel inclined. I won't be pressured or persuaded. And man do I love Kristin even more for hosting a non-costume Halloween party this year.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Trip to the Tompkins Patch

Yes, you read that right. On Saturday while my parents were visiting, we took the kids to Wurth Farm in Paducah to the pumpkin patch. I mean, the Tompkins patch. There are a couple things here I need to explain.

When the kids and I were visiting Mom and Dad last month, Mom had some decorative pumpkins out. Luke picked one up and called it a tompkin instead of a pumpkin. We all thought that was funny. To those of you who know about my constant frustration with the service of Murray's Pizza Hut, the story is even funnier. Our Pizza Hut doesn't have the best reputation for service, but we love their pizza, so we haven't given up on them yet. We have learned to order it carry out though. One time Kim picked up the pizza on her way over and they couldn't find our order under Tompkins. They finally asked if it could be Pumpkins. So a lot of laughs have been had over us being the Pumpkins family now.

Anyway, Luke's having trouble keeping our last name and the word "pumpkins" straight and we think it's very cute:)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


So I've just learned something for sure about my 30-year-old self. When awful things happen, it takes me some time to process them. I'm not an immediate cryer. I don't burst out in tears of joy or sadness. I'm a stewer. I let things stew around until I overflow. That was today.

My Monday morning was rocked with news of a suicide on campus that directly affected MCF, my workplace. I knew this week was not going to remotely resemble anything normal. The news hung around me like a dark cloud and I couldn't even imagine how the brother who found him felt, the girlfriend, friends and family, but most of all that dear momma. I was racing Luke in the yard with trucks, and it occurred to me that that momma probably did something similar and her baby is gone. No time to say goodbye, no time to say I love this or that about you. Just gone. I knew others' dark cloud loomed much worse than mine. So, I bought the kids who were hanging around the house pizza. I knew they'd need to eat and not want to leave (or have any money).

Today I went to the dentist for the broken tooth I had and got my tooth pulled. I'm mortally afraid of the dentist. In college, I went to The Butcher and he pulled an infected tooth, which left me in so much pain that I accidentally took too much Tylenol 3 and felt like I was dying. Not a good experience. So even though I really like my dentist, I was scared. My knuckles were clenched, my toes curled, my body so stiff even though I couldn't feel any pain. It's the sounds and the pressure and knowing what's going on in there.

So as I left the dentist, I couldn't wait to get to my car to cry. I needed to get it all out, about MCF, about the hurting, about being so nervous at the dentist. I don't get a lot of genuine solitude, so when I do, I feel things for real. I drove a street over to Kim's office and got a hug. I nearly stopped on Sycamore to get another hug from Kristin.

I finally figured out this is how I deal with things. Good to know:)

Friday, October 3, 2008


Last night we were over at Taylors playing Settlers and Kristin was telling us about this house they went out to look at for Greg's realty business. I could tell they'd been talking about buying it themselves and that she was pretty smitten with the idea of it. After she brought it up at supper, she said, "Oh, I'll stop dreaming about it by tomorrow." The whole time, I'd been listening, and I was excited for her. But I realized that I don't let myself dream like that anymore. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I don't let myself dream about that house on Olive with 5 bdr and 3 bath that I used to. I don't let myself dream about a car with less than 100,000 miles on it. That kind of depressed me this morning, but then I thought that maybe I don't dream b/c the dreams that I've wanted most have come true.

I always wanted to go to college. I've done that, and am 2 classes from finishing my master's.
I always wanted to be married. I have a wonderful husband.
I always wanted to teach school. I taught for 5 years and have lots of sweet relationships with kids and colleagues. And I will hopefully get to go back in five years or so.
I always wanted to be a mom and be able to stay at home with my kids. I've been able to do that, although not always comfortably financially, but that was to be expected. I have two sweet, healthy kids that I'm having a blast with.

Truly, it has crossed my mind that I'm in the middle of the best part of my life right now. (Although last night we did discuss how the last couple years of college are pretty great.) I know it will be fun when I go back to teaching and have a 5-yr-old and 7-yr-old. But what could be sweeter than watching them learn everything they know so far? than being the one who takes care of them? Not much, I figure.

Time to go do the daily stuff that makes me forget how much I love being at home:)


Piggybacking that last blog, I posed Norah's leg up there for the picture after I'd seen her do it before. It was so cute to me! On that note, the last several weeks, I've wanted to get certain shots of something Luke and Norah have been doing and missed it by a second. But I usually ask Luke to go back and do it again and he does! I think he gets that I love pictures and he figures he might as well do it. I really appreciate this about him!

Holding Out

Although Norah has needed to be in her high chair to eat the last few weeks, I've been putting it off. I really didn't want to bring that big chair up and have it taking space in my already toy-ridden house. I'm holding out for a space saver high chair that I saw at Toys r us that will fit on one of my dining room chairs but still give her the comfort of a high chair. In my quest to wait for Christmas, I started using the bouncy seat. That worked well til she started reaching forward like she wanted to sit up more. Then I tried Luke's booster seat but that was too upright and not very comfortable for her. After a few weeks of this, I hauled the high chair up last night and fed her in it this morning. The picture tells the story. She really liked it!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Control Freaks

This is my sister, Nic. She's a taller, skinnier, blonder version of me. We have the same voice and share enough mannerisms that a complete stranger once asked her if she knew me because she was acting like me.

We're not control freaks in the worst sense. But in life's big situations where we're completely out of control (i.e. unemployment of my husband or trouble with having a baby), we take comfort in controlling other things. Like I clean and nest like a maniac. She goes for retail therapy and a new haircut.

We had a good relationship growing up, but it's definitely gotten stronger the last few years. Mostly because we're on the same page. Or, she's just a page behind me and we have a lot in common. God has used my experiences to grow us closer as we share and vent and cry together.

I guess I take having a sister for granted. She's been around for 26 years. But if we lived closer, she'd so be a constant in my life.

The Way They Are

I've got a scrapbook page simmering in my mind, but I may not get to it for a while, so I'm going to get my thoughts out here. I love watching Luke and Norah together. At first, Luke was sweet with her with his kisses and wanting to hold her. Now that she's getting more mobile everyday, I thought there might be a war over toys. So far so good. Luke seems really amused that Norah is moving. When she's upset, he gives her a car to play with. When she's scooting and approaching a toy he's been playing with, we joke about it and he laughs. Norah spends her days rocking on all fours and scooting around. She enjoys watching Luke and all his antics. She's quite patient with him. My favorite thing they do is "Norah take a ride." That's where Norah is playing in her walker and Luke decides to drive her around. She's even good with the crashing until he gets too rough. Then she's done (who could blame her?). I hope this is just the beginning of a very sweet friendship.

If it ain't broke...

I have to confess. I am the world's worst mother. I tried to break my son of his pacifier, worked really hard at it, then gave in and gave it back to him. Here's why (like any of you readers need me to justify it, but obviously I need to for myself): Luke only uses it for naps and bedtime. He has to have a pacifier and his Bunny and he's good to go to bed. And I don't just mean that he goes without a fight. When he was smaller, he would go get them from his crib when he was tired. So while I was trying to break him of it, he was upset and wouldn't go down easily at all. It took about 45 min. for him to calm down and fall asleep AND I had to go in there and lay down with him. He wouldn't sleep as long either.

Why would I want to mess with it? Mostly because I care what other people think. I want him broken of it for that reason. Because some people think babies should never use pacifiers. Because I care WAY too much what other people think. And perhaps I'm selfish in that I like that he goes down for a nap like a champ and goes to bed like a champ. It makes my life easier (besides the fact it's good for him to get good sleep!).

Anyway, confession over.

Gentry dress

I've been meaning to get this posted, especially for Jenn, who gave Norah this pretty dress. Apparently she likes it!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Missing Mrs. Tompkins

The last two nights I've had dreams about school. About being back at school teaching, about Luke being in kindergarten, about my teacher friends. I miss all that. Today, I miss it a lot. I miss my colleagues, I miss knowing I'm a part of students' lives. I do not miss faculty meetings. I know that in a few years, I'll be back there most likely, doing the teacher thing. And I know that that time will be here before I know it. This time of my babies being babies is short. And I don't want to miss a moment of this. So I guess it's good that there's a part of me longing to be Mrs. Tompkins again.

Monday, September 22, 2008

One Selfish Wish

If I had one wish and could be totally selfish with it, it would be to have these men back in my life. From left to right, they are Uncle Charlie, Uncle Derb, Grandpa Barney, and Uncle Max. (that's me being held) Grandpa Barney was a wonderful grandpa who took me strawberry picking, let me eat out of the sugar bowl, gave me quarters when I visited him at the store so I could buy suckers, and just generally showed me off. He knew how to be a grandpa. When he passed away from lung cancer in 1988, my Uncle Derb (great uncle, really) kind of replaced him in a way. Uncle Derb was also really special and knew how to make others feel that way. He went out of his way to make you feel welcome. He was a southern gentleman, and he could cook like it was nobody's business. He too passed away from cancer. That was in 1999. Soon after, Uncle Charlie passed away. Uncle Max passed sometime before Grandpa and I didn't know him really well. Anyway, this probably explains 1) why I despise cigarettes, and 2) why I have a thing for old men. I miss them.

Jeans weather

Anyone who knows me well knows I'm a jeans girl. I love jeans. When I was pregnant, I couldn't wait to get back into normal jeans. When I was a teacher, I longed for Fridays when we could wear jeans and grumbled when we weren't allowed to wear them anymore. When I became a mom, I loved little kid jeans.

So, today, on one of the first cool days since Norah arrived in April, I got to put on her first pair fo jeans. I think she might just be a jeans girl too from that expression on her face!

At the zoo

We finally got to take Luke to the zoo while we were visiting Pup's mom in Louisville last month. I was so looking forward to watching Luke. Let me give you the highlights:

First, the rhinos. Pup was holding Luke and they were watching the rhinos sleep and blow dirt as they breathed. Luke thought that was pretty interesting. But then when they got up, Pup said "Look at their tails," and Luke said, "Butt. Big butt." Indeed, he was correct!

Later we went to the bird area and there was a place where you could go inside, buy some nectar and have lorikeets land on you. Why Pup thought Luke would actually enjoy this I don't know. They went in, but as soon as one of those lorikeets saw that tempting nest of hair on top of Luke's head, it was over. It scared Luke and I had to go rescue him. Pup, however, stayed in and let the birds land all over him.

A Super Week

We've had a SUPER week at our house. As you can see, the truck of the week was replaced by a superhero. Here's what happened. I was organizing and throwing things away when I came across this old Superman doll of mine. (I went through a big Superman phase in my teen years - I wanted to be Lois Lane.) Anyway, it never occurred to me how much Luke might enjoy Superman. So he toted the doll around a while and nicknamed him "Super." He and Super spent a lot of time together. Then we decided that Norah needed her own superhero so she got Spiderman to chew on. As much as I enjoy Luke's passion for trucks, I like that he's trying out something new.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fun onesies

I've discussed with Kristin before that I think moms dress their kids like they like to dress. For instance, with Norah, I made it quite clear before she was here that I liked pink but not enough to dress her in it everyday, paint her room that color, and immerse my life in pink. The message must've gotten out because Norah got lots of cute, bright, colorful clothes at the shower. Not lacey, frilly, girly stuff. Another way that I dress my kids like myself is with shirts that say funny things.

Here's Norah's newest cute onesie. It says "I make chunky thighs look good." Well, her thighs aren't TOO chunky yet, but they will be.

My boy, the Destructor

Luke has quite a reputation at MCF. Ever since he started moving around, he was into everything. He's broken lamps, nearly crashed computers, fallen into the bathtub fish aquarium, and basically gotten into more trouble than I can describe here. Brian nicknamed him Destructor, and it's stuck. Here it is on his new little MCF shirt.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

At the Lake

The lake felt like bath water in mid-July. We met Holly and some of her friends out there to cook out and play in the lake. Again, Luke's shark float came in handy. And Norah had her first water outing in her swimsuit. Doesn't she look like she's posing???


Pup and I heard about "stay-cations" on NPR one day. Since gas prices are so high, people are finding vacation destinations closer to home. For those of us around here, Kentucky Lake can be a little vacation not so far from home. Hence the phrase "stay-cation."

One way we've been stay-cationing this summer is by going to Bridget's pool. She's made is quite clear since day one that we're welcome out there anytime. Last year was a bit difficult with a one-year-old walking around.

This year though, Luke has this awesome shark float. He loves playing in the water. Depending on where Norah is in her routine, she naps or swims with me (sometimes she skinnydips:)). Either way, it's been a wonderful way to play outside on these hot & humid days!

"Feed Nor"

I'm proud of how well Luke has handled getting a sister. He's had moments, but he is two, so I expected that.
He's great about giving Norah kisses and wanting to hold her. The other day, as I was getting ready to feed Norah in her bouncy seat, Luke said, "Feed Nor." I thought to myself, "This will last about a minute." But he really meant it. He got her spoonfuls of rice cereal, fed them to her, and then said, "Good girl, Nor." It was so sweet!
Then, when we were taking a walk this week, Luke and Norah shared the double stroller with Luke in the back. When Norah started getting fussy, he took her bottle from the cupholder and fed her for a little bit. Quite helpful! I think things will start changing soon as she gets mobile and takes his trucks. That's sacred territory for him:)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Your brother, your biggest fan

Dear Norah,
We had the sweetest moment the other day. Your brother and I were in the kitchen getting something to eat, and when I looked in the living room to check on you on the floor, I found you a different way than I'd left you. You'd rolled over!
I immediately started cheering and looked over to see your brother clapping and cheering too. As you struggled to roll over again, getting stuck on your arm, I had to hold Luke on my lap so he wouldn't help you and you could learn to do it yourself. He was genuinely excited for you. What a sweet brother you have! I hope you are each other's biggest fans.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fun for a Dollar

That's one thing I love about kids (and some adults too). Finding amusement in simple things. Several weeks ago when Logan was spending the day with us, we ended up at the Dollar Tree to get a few things. Two of them were squirt bottles the boys used on each other.

Since then, Luke has been fascinated with squirting. I told him not to in the house, but reluctantly gave in to his persistence and let him squirt in the trash. Lucky for me he thinks that's great.

I took these pics of him from the inside of the glass doors.

Inches Away

Almost literally were there inches away. Luke, Norah, and I were at work today. I was sitting at my desk working at the computer and Luke was sitting at a nearby computer desk playing kind of behind me. I turned around to find him playing with scissors just inches away from my hair! Now I'm expecting him go after Norah one day, but me??? Anyway, it was a close call.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tales of Potty Training

Well, I admit that I haven't read enough books about the subject, but we're trying to potty-train Luke. I think there will be plenty to blog about on this subject alone.

I'll start with Luke's first impression of the potty. He was drawn to the soft cushion he should sit on and thought it would be better used as a steering wheel. I should've seen that coming.
A few weeks ago, Luke did go potty on his potty. It was great! We praised him and rewarded him. Here's Pup giving him a few "new" trucks for his accomplishment. (I bought a bag of trucks from Weeruns for $3 to use as rewards when potty-training came.)
Yesterday he woke up dry so I took him to his potty while I got ready, hoping we could chat and he'd forget any pressure to go potty. He had some trucks in there and was sitting on his potty waiting. When he got up to get a truck, he ended up peeing all over the bathroom. Oh well, practice makes perfect. We'll keep practicing.

Truck of the Week - a summary

Well, I've fallen short of keeping up with the blog, so I wanted to catch up

Truck of the week - June 28th - metal Tonka dumptruck

Seems indestructible and we'd seen one at the church retreat that another little guy had brought. I got it at a yard sale despite Kim's advice against getting it. Sorry Kim, this one was just too cool.

Truck of the week - July 5th - actually, it's a motorcycle
We spent most of the week visiting Mom and Dad's. Luke wanted to see the motorcycle Dad keeps on a high shelf. He didn't part with it very often the whole week.

Truck of the week - July 12th - a fire truck given to him by the neighbors who were getting rid of toys their grandkids no longer wanted

Saturday, July 12, 2008


We went out to the Reinhardts for their annual 4th of July festivities - that's fireworks and homemade ice cream. I was looking forward to Luke trying a sparkler.
In this picture, my eyes were closed on purpose because at the exact moment that we lit this sparkler, someone lit a firework that made a really loud boom. I figure Luke will associate those two things now. And he was very scared of the loud fireworks - as you can see in the last picture. He ended up inside playing with his friends.


Not much of Luke's apparel is appropriate for hand-me-downs to his sister, but this Cardinals outfit sure is. He wore it often when he was this age. I think she looks quite cute & comfy in her Cards attire.


"Night Night Moon"

Reading Goodnight Moon at bedtime has become one of the parts of the day that I don't want to miss. I started reading that book to Luke a couple months ago, and it soon became his requested book at bedtime. After we read the book, we lay there and say "Night, night _______," filling in the blank with every person's name and word in his vocabulary.
One night as I was tucking him in I got an important text about one of our friends, so I was sitting on his bed texting and calling our friends to ask for prayer about the situation. Luke was patiently waiting for me with Goodnight Moon. While I was talking I noticed him "reading" it to himself. He'd say the right words on the right pages, like "Night night stars" on the star page and "Night night mittens" on the mitten page. It was so cute. A teacher-mom heart melted:)

Friday, July 4, 2008

A Lesson on Living

This week I made plans to bring the kids and visit my parents. It's usually a pretty relaxing time and I want my kids to know their Pa & Mema even though they live 3 hours away. The day after Mom and I made plans, she called to tell me that my neighbor from childhood, Roy, passed away. He was 90 and had lived a great long life. He and his wife Bernice (whom he's standing behind in the pic) lived next door when we were little and were just like grandparents to us. In the past few years they've made the effort to come to our wedding and baby showers. That meant a lot to us.
I think that God uses death to remind us of what's important in life. Last night Bernice and her son & daughter-in-law were over visiting. We all sat around reminiscing. Not over Roy's bank account or what kind of car he drove. But of how he treated people, the impact he had on people just by his kind behavior, the way he taught by his actions not just words. We shared stories of the time we spent with him, conversations we had with him.
So here's to not putting so much thought into replacing my ugly kitchen floor or landscaping our yard. Here's to making time and people count. That means that marathons of Settlers of Catan games ARE important. And morning walks with friends. And time spent scrapbooking and chatting. And meals shared among friends. And days spent at Mom & Dad's to just be together. Harley rides and frisbee golf. At least that's what I'm reminded of when I think of a certain neighbor and the Pepsi breaks he shared with the little girl next door.
This is what life is made of and what we remember, so let's make it count.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Tale of a Lover's Quarrel

Many of you know that Luke is quite smitten with Cate Taylor. They've probably seen each other nearly every day for the last year. Nowadays they stroll together in a double stroller so that Norah can use the single stroller and we can all still walk together. Kristin and I were amazed at how well Luke and Cate strolled together, and how patient Cate is with Luke's tormenting ways. Most days they are very sweet with one another, and Kristin has been known to say the kids practically make out in front of us. Other days are not so good. Like last Monday. Here's Luke's side of the story when asked:
Luke: "hit...cup"
Momma: "Then what happened?"
Luke: "mad"
Momma: "What did Cate do when she was mad?"
Luke: "bite Cate"
Translation: Luke hit Cate with his cup one too many times, she got mad, and bit him.
I looked down to notice teeth marks on his arm, but I think his feelings were more hurt than anything. His girl had lashed back for once. And I'm sure it won't be the last time!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Big Buddies

It's my pleasure to "watch" Denise's 9-yr-old son Logan sometimes when she works. I put that in quotes because he's really more help to me than anything else. I can always use an extra pair of hands (and eyes and ears as well).

Today as we were driving around running errands, Logan said, "I'd like to live with Luke. We really have a lot in common." Very funny to me coming from a 9-yr-old about a 2-yr-old, but they are big buddies.

I must confess that selfishly I like hanging out with Logan because I miss the 9-yr-olds I used to teach. I truly love that age. They're funny and independent, fun to talk to, and full of observations and ideas.

Thanks to Denise for always obliging when I ask her to take my camera and get some pictures when they're out doing something fun!